Wednesday, September 26, 2012

my love/hate relationship with birthdays

Yesterday was #1's seventh birthday and I am feeling super sentimental. See, I have this love-hate relationship with birthdays.  On one hand, I love throwing big parties for the kids, baking a beautiful cake, and watching them open their presents.  On the other hand, I live in reality.  It never quite goes the way I thought it would in my mind. Birthdays just sneak up in me, especially #1's birthday.  Every year its like we are having a good old time relaxing and enjoying summer, then things get super crazy with back to school and all of the sudden BAM! Its the end of September and I have to put together a birthday! How does that happen? And there just aren't enough hours in the day to do all of the things I pinned on pinterest!  I can't just buy favors and a cake and call it a day! I have high hopes of making EVERYTHING from scratch even if it is three times as much money and takes me hours to complete.

Family birthday celebration yesterday

This year I thought I was being super smart.  I offered #1 a Nintendo DS instead of a birthday party this year.  For those of you who don’t know, a DS is the latest version of what we used to call the Game Boy and is the most sought after possession of most young boys these days. 

#1 has been asking for a DS for two years, so I thought this was a done deal! But he picked the party.  In fact, not only did he pick the party, but he wanted to have it at Chuck E Cheese for the second year in a row.  At first, I really didn’t want to have the party there again, but the more I thought about it, its not REALLY any more expensive to have the party there than it is to have it at home.  By the time I buy cake, decorations, favors, and of course food, it would be at least as much as having the party somewhere else because god knows I can’t have a birthday party with out putting out a huge spread of food that is pleasing to both parents and children.  And this doesn’t even account for the hours that I would have to spend cleaning, shopping and cooking.  Chuck E Cheese was looking better by the minute because they would do EVERYTHING for me! I would just have to accept the chaos and general yucky feeling I get every time I walk in the place.

Now, last year when we had the party we invited a few family friends and wound up with about 10 kids total, which seemed totally reasonable to me, especially since 3 of them were mine. This year #1 desperately wanted to invite his whole class and I am a sucker.  In the end we wound up with twenty kids total, most of which I have never met before and it turns out that first grade is the age where it becomes acceptable to drop your kids off at birthday parties and leave.  This was news to me! So now we had twenty children, some without parents, most of whom I have never met before and #1 is not at all interested in playing the gracious host, in fact if I asked him today I am pretty sure he could not tell me half of the kids who were at the party.  He wants to go play video games and shoot things.  He didn’t want to have his birthday party at Chuck E Cheese to dance with the big mouse or get a cool medal.  He suffered through the embarrassment so that he had unlimited time and coins to sink submarines with complete strangers. So instead of getting the video game system that he could play any time he wants, he chose to have a party so that he could play a video game for 2 hours in a mad house on a Sunday afternoon.  That makes sense.  Maybe I should rethink letting the 7 year old make decisions?  I think next year we will be having a small family party at home!

Regardless of how silly the whole event is, he did seem to have a good time.  Here he is , being tortured and sung to at chuck e cheese. 

He actually looked like he was having fun there!

I bought "sparkler" candles which turned out to be trick candles. Oops!

And this is where I begin to reminisce, because it seems like such a short time ago that we were here celebrating his 6th birthday and now he is 7.  I am super emotional about #1’s birthday this year because to me, 7 years old is when kids go from little to big.  He is a big kid now and that makes me just a little sad.  I know he’s just one day older than he was yesterday but we are moving in to a new phase.  I think this is especially shocking for me because most parents that have a seven year old have been parenting for at least seven years.  I have had three and a half and I feel like he is just growing up so fast.  On the positive side, his growth this last year has been tremendous.  He has gone from a shy, skittish kindergartener who had trouble staying in his seat in school and argued A LOT, to a much more independent first grader who likes to talk to the girls in his class and gets 100% every week on his spelling tests.  Each of our kids are challenging in their own way and #1 has always tried to push the limits.  He is smart and good with words.  He can pull an adult in to a debate before they even know what hit them, but he is starting to use his verbal skills for good as he is learning to read and write.  He is a great big brother, always looking out for his brothers and sister and loves to help when he can. He loves to chat and these days we have some really great conversations.  He has grown so much and come so far in the three and a half years that I have had the privilege to call him my son.  In honor of #1’s birthday, here are a few pictures from the last couple years.  I love you my big boy and I am looking forward to many more years of growth. I can’t wait to see what comes next. 

Last year at Chuck E Cheese. #1 turned 6, #2 is to the right.

January 2011, #1 was 5.  #2 and #3 are behind him.

Thanks for reading my sappy story today! If you made it all this way please leave me a comment! I love to get feedback! You can comment below or on my facebook page!

1 comment:

  1. It is amazing how fast they grow. People used to tell me that, especially when mine were little and in diapers and teething and every day was a year long and I'd think they were nuts. Now here I am saying it. Blink and they're teenagers. Then you'll really see what pulling an adult into a debate is all about, LOL. Thanks, that was a fun read.